Franchisee Spotlight: Jersey City, NJ

Pooja Gupta was working in a high-stress job in Manhattan, when the market crash of 2008 gave her a chance to re-evaluate her career. She started taking her niece to her classes at Gymboree Play & Music, and realized that this was a business that she could feel passionate about.

She recognized that there was a huge need for quality programs for young children in her area, and started researching possible locations. She debated the pros and cons between various types of real estate options, and decided to start out in an older building in a third floor space. It allowed her to learn and make mistakes because she had kept her overhead relatively low. She gambled that the quality of her programming would offset any inconvenience for the families, and she was right – her business thrived.

After a decade of success, she started wondering if she should shut down her profitable space and move to a “better” location with higher rent. Another national crisis – the pandemic shutdown – forced her hand and gave her the opportunity to find a new space.

If you’ve noticed a few gambling terms sprinkled in here, it’s because Pooja is an amateur poker player, even playing in two national tournaments in Las Vegas! She’s also on the professional board for a non-profit that supports families dealing with homelessness.

Pooja loves teaching and “developing little humans”. She says that teaching helps her keep the spark, saying “It reminds me why I’m a Gymboree Play & Music franchisee and what I’m doing for my community”.

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